Sail Date: June 2019
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his ... Read More
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his wife, the host of this cruise. We had not seen him perform live in 35 years and he was still amazing! The company sponsoring the cruise was Mayflower Tours and they did an excellent job. We received all our boarding documents before leaving home, including a nice backpack for the excursions. We received free airfare from Montana to Prague and then Budapest back to Montana. We upgraded our seats to Comfort Plus (about one thousand dollars each and worth every penny), just behind the first class section of the aircraft. We also added three days extra in Prague and Budapest to check out the cities on our own. We stayed at the Hotel Grandium in Prague, about a block from Wenceslas Square and within walking distance of almost everything. Outstanding hotel, with a breakfast to die for! In Budapest, we stayed at the InterContinental, right on the river by the Chain Bridge. I had stayed there 40 years ago, still a beautiful hotel. Our room was on the ninth floor, facing the river and the views were amazing, especially at night. Now to the ship. The Emerald Sun was beautifully maintained, spotless everywhere you went. The entire crew was exceptional and made you feel right at home. Initially, we booked a room on deck 1 (room 117) just below waterline and were more than happy with it. Just for the heck of it my wife inquired about an upgrade to deck 2 or 3 and for an extra $400.00 we moved up to deck 2 (room 214). The room was excellent. We loved having the window that lowered electrically half way open, turning the room into a big balcony. The bed was comfy, plenty of room for all our stuff and the bathroom plenty big enough. Our cabin attendant kept the room spotless. I can't say enough about the quality of the dining. Up to this point, nobody could compare to Celebrity, but these guys could and DID! All the meals were spectacular, we hated to get of that ship. The entertainment was beyond wonderful. To start with there were about 17 of us that signed up just because of Seamus Kennedy. He held trivial pursuit nights in the lounge and spur of the moment 1 or 2 hour mini-concerts at the pool for us. Not mention sing-a-longs during our bus rides. An absolute joy to travel with. The ship had various entertainers come aboard depending on what city we docked at, not to mention an amazing on-board piano player in the lounge almost every night. At every city we had ship sponsored walking tours with guides, very well organized. Also, there were many special excursions folks signed up for at an additional cost. We had lived just south of Munich for three years in the late 80's, so we skipped the extra excursions to Salzburg and Vienna. We absolutely loved Prague and Budapest and would recommend those two cities for a visit. Of note, we did most of our Danube River cruising at night while we slept. I do remember going thru many, many locks and that was interesting. We would definitely do a river cruise again. Oh BTW, we loved the Infinity Pool and used it almost daily, usually all to ourselves! My wife loved the exercise room and I loved watching her use it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to see the cities on the itinerary. We found the easy walking group catered for our needs and the guides were all excellent and very informative. The dining facilities were very good with well balanced meals and a second ... Read More
We wanted to see the cities on the itinerary. We found the easy walking group catered for our needs and the guides were all excellent and very informative. The dining facilities were very good with well balanced meals and a second option for breakfast and lunch if needed in a quieter environment. The main dining room in the evening with over 180 passengers was impossibly noisy and it was difficult to hear the conversation at our own table. Could 'any time' dining be introduced which may lessen the large number of passengers who all arrived in the dining room at the same time? The Cruise Director and all Staff were very helpful and efficient - always had a smile and never tired of helping passengers where necessary. They were very polite at all times, which made it a pleasure to sail with this particular ship, as you really felt you mattered. The cabin was well maintained clean and tidy at all times and attention to detail by Maya our cabin steward was much admired. Her service was exceptional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise to see the part of the Danube we had not seen before. Whilst not as scenic as the upper river, apart from the Iron Gates, it still proved to be worth seeing. The whole trip came to life with the help of an excellent ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the part of the Danube we had not seen before. Whilst not as scenic as the upper river, apart from the Iron Gates, it still proved to be worth seeing. The whole trip came to life with the help of an excellent Tour manager, local tour guides and a super itinerary. The ship is really well appointed, and the cabin layout well designed. The daily programmes interesting. The organisation of the ship is well managed apart from the wine service which calls for a dedicated wine waiter. Too often their Job was hampered by having to break off to serve wine. Some tables lucky and others not so. Food onboard well presented but the quality at times could be better ( Steaks need to be trimmed of a lot of fat). Breakfast service excellent and dishes replenished quickly. Lunch choice limited, but Dinner even more so. Reception team helpful and efficient, as were all the staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cruise was preceded with a three day stay in Prague, at the 4* Hotel Grandium. This in itself was an absolute delight, excellent food, room, fellow passengers and our lovely Prague tour guide, Jakob. After our stay there, we were ... Read More
The cruise was preceded with a three day stay in Prague, at the 4* Hotel Grandium. This in itself was an absolute delight, excellent food, room, fellow passengers and our lovely Prague tour guide, Jakob. After our stay there, we were transported in a luxurious coach to embark the Emerald Sun at Regensburg. This was instead of Nuremberg due to the water level for the Danube being lower than usual and the ship didn't have the draft. The ship is very well laid out with spacious restaurant, superb cuisine, included wine and beer and ample opportunity to make new friends if desired. Our cabin, well appointed, a electrically operated full scale window, very comfortable bed, very adequate shower and storage. The entertainment was very good and original using local entertainers and even visiting local families and their homes. The staff from Captain to engine room staff were very courteous and welcoming, all English speaking and extremely helpful. Our entertainments manager, Nina was a pure delight, she was so hardworking, funny, a real beauty and very supportive and kind. The shore excursions were very interesting and well planned. We had a wonderful evening meal in a palace with traditional dancers and music. We also went one evening to a Strauss Chamber music event, again in a palace in Vienna - marvellous! We would certainly use Emerald again and would recommend it to you based on the experience my wife and I had. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My mum-in-law asked for this trip & what fun we 3 had- We were river rat virgins & look forward to the next one! The ship & cabins were stunning & pristine, dining delicious & imaginative. The entertainment was fun for ... Read More
My mum-in-law asked for this trip & what fun we 3 had- We were river rat virgins & look forward to the next one! The ship & cabins were stunning & pristine, dining delicious & imaginative. The entertainment was fun for all ages (21 to 81!) & the crew show not to be missed! We loved that we got to know the staff & they made efforts to get to know us & our preferences. My husband's birthday surprise was really well done. We did as many shore excursions as possible & loved the humorous history. The bike trip was very active & thank you for giving us speed choice in walking tours. We made lots of new friends & hope to visit with again. (Please start A loyalty program!) We appreciated minimal broadcasted announcements. Embarkation & disembarkation was super easy. We should have gone a day early to enjoy a Budapest thermal bath but did explore Nuremberg city center & War Memorial the last day of cruise & take a train to see/ sleep Munich & fly home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Recommended by friends, would definitely go with Emerald again. First class service all through and very professional. Could not have wished for more.t The Cruise Director was outstanding and worked exceptionally hard. The staff were ... Read More
Recommended by friends, would definitely go with Emerald again. First class service all through and very professional. Could not have wished for more.t The Cruise Director was outstanding and worked exceptionally hard. The staff were always polite and nothing was too much trouble. The choice of food was great though a little cuisine nouveau for dinner but after 4 courses you had enough. Good choice of wines to represent the area we were in. Look forward to going again. A different entertainment in the evening and found that everyone on the boat was very friendly. The facilities were excellent and everywhere was kept spotless. Looked after having arrived early and again when we had a late departure. The dress code was very casual but smart so jacket and tie was not needed so that helps cut down on the packing. We will definitely be looking to travel with aEmerald in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The travel agency recommended us to take this cruise. It is hard to say where the cruise can improve this experience, but I think that the fitness area is too small and limited. In terms of food, there are no alternatives between meals, ... Read More
The travel agency recommended us to take this cruise. It is hard to say where the cruise can improve this experience, but I think that the fitness area is too small and limited. In terms of food, there are no alternatives between meals, something could be done at this respect. The service was outstanding, there is little you can do, since all the personal is worried about you confort. Tours where excellent, along with great tourist guide, I learned a lot about second world war, even I have read many books about it. Bike travel between one city and other was also an excellent experience, maybe you can do more of this bike travel. Maybe the ship could have stopped in cities like Dusseldorf and Frankfort, both big and relevant cities in Germany instead of some small towns that we visited and I can not remember the names of them. Finally, the tea with Slovakian family was a tremendous experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because it covered the areas we wanted to see over a two week period. It was very calming and the weather was great, the ship was only a year old and everything sparkled. The bicycles were fun and the organised ride ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered the areas we wanted to see over a two week period. It was very calming and the weather was great, the ship was only a year old and everything sparkled. The bicycles were fun and the organised ride was a good activity although the bikes could do with some maintenance. There was lots of activities to choose from and places to visit. There was fast and slow group tours to enable most people to participate. The cabin was quite big with lots of room to store belongings. The internet was a bonus being able to keep in touch with family and friends. The crew were wonderful, very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was fabulous with so much variety, there was afternoon tea and supper for those who needed to eat all day and the service great. The last night cruise in Budapest with all the lights was a wonderful sight and a good way to finish off. It was a trip of a lifetime and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family N/A 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.5 4.3

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